Yesterday, Israel and the Philippines, through Minister of Economy and Industry Ms. Orna Barbivai, and the Philippine Secretary of Trade and Industry Mr. Ramon Lopez, signed the MOU establishing the Joint Committee on trade and investments. The signing of this MOU is a significant milestone for both economies as this will further intensify the bilateral economic linkages, enhance current state of trade and investments, while addressing trade barriers.


Minister of Economy and Industry Maj. Gen. (res.) Orna Barbivai said, “The economic cooperation agreement between the ministries is an important milestone in Israel’s economic relations with the Philippines, a country of 110 million people with a warm and sympathetic attitude toward Israel. The mixed economic committee, which will be established under the agreement, will create a direct economic dialogue between the governments, thereby promoting various issues and resolving trade barriers. I am sure that the agreement signed today will lead to an increase in the volume of trade between the countries in the coming years, while contributing to the promotion of Israeli exports to the Philippines and strengthening economic ties.”


Director of the Foreign Trade Administration, Mr. Ohad Cohen, who participated in the signing ceremony shared that “The Philippines is one of the most developing and growing economies in the world with an average economic growth rate of about 6 percent in the decade between 2010 and 2019 and the growth forecast is similar to 2022, the year of the exit from the coronavirus crisis. Alongside the signing of the agreement, the large investment in many infrastructure projects combined with the digitization revolution that is happening in the country creates many opportunities for Israeli companies in many fields such as agriculture, water, energy, communications, cyber, fintech and medical devices.”


The Economic Attaché and Head of the Economic Mission in Manila Mr. Tomer Heyvi said, “Since last February, when most of the coronavirus restrictions were lifted and foreign businessmen and tourists were allowed to enter the Philippines, we are seeing more and more visits by representatives of Israeli companies in the country, to which we assist and some of them are also accompanied. I have no doubt that Minister Lopez’s visit to Israel and the cooperation agreement signed today are expected to create opportunities for other companies that are not yet active in the Philippines.”


DTI Secretary Lopez was accompanied by a delegation of senior government officials from the Board of Investments and Department of Agriculture, as well as representatives from companies on communications, food production and electronics who will participate in a business forum that will be held today at the Carlton Hotel in Tel Aviv.


We are looking forward to this new stage of collaboration between Israel and the Philippines.